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Focke-Wulf Fw 190A-8 in Detail (Revisited)

Part 5 - Armament

n Text and photos by Martin Waligorski

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13mm MG 131 bulged cover. Heavy machine guns in this position were introduced with the A-7 model, earlier aircraft being armed with a pair of  lighter MG 17 guns.

The gun throughs, which would be quite prominent on an armed A-8, have been faired over on this aircraft after the guns had been removed. The removal may have taken place post-war, but also during the operational life of the aircraft. As mentioned before, this plane was adapted for Mistel composite, and  Fw 190 flown in this configuration often had their cowling guns removed to give room for an extra oil tank required for long-range flights.


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Close-up of the Mg 131 housing. Note the generally loose fit of this cover.


The A-8 had a pair of wingroot-mounted MG 151/20E 20 mm cannon. These were first introduced with the A-2 model and remained standard armament for the remainder of the fighter's development. The cannon was belt-fed.

To clear the canon breeches, bulged blisters were added to the upper wing armament hatches. These were triangular in cross-section as can be seen here.

The canon on this example has been removed, and the opening in the wing leading edge covered with aluminium plate.


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Hendon's Fw 190 F-8  with its cannon retained displays how the barrels of the MG 151 protruded through the wing edge. The barrels also went straight through the wheel well, and were clearly visible inside.


The same MG 151/20 blister at the wing root was part of a hinged cover opening upwards and inwards.


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The same blister viewed from the rear



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The ETC 501 was a universal rack able to carry a bomb or an extra fuel tank. However, the lengthwise braces were used with drop tank only, to provide better longitudinal stability of the tank.


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The ETC 501 rack is complete, but most period photos show rack-equipped Fw 190s with an extra aerodynamic fairing behind it. The fairing is missing on the IWM machine. The reason for this could not be determined.


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The ETC rack was positioned 8 inches back as compared to this view on all models prior to the A-8. With MW50 installation and a new fuselage fuel tank aft of the centre of gravity on the A-8 model, the rack was repositioned forward as far as possible to restore the centre of gravity.


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Here is the lower cover of the outer wing gun.

As mentioned before, the featured aircraft is a Fw 190A-8/R6, and this picture also demonstrates why.

The R6 Rüstsatz cvonsisted of one W.Gr. 21 rocket tube beneath each wing. This weapon was specifically targeted at Allied bomber formations. It was a popular conversion, in fact the RLM insisted that every second produced Fw 190A should be able to carry rockets.

The unmistakable evidence that this is a R6 conversion is here in the form of eight mounting holes for the W.Gr 21 forward support braces, visible to the left of the photo.


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